What to Expect
Commerce students may be taken aback by the amount of reading that's required.
Developing good study habits early will help.
"I was surprised by the amount of work that I was expected to do,"
says Matt Marcovitch. He says that he did, "significantly more reading and
homework than I ever did in high school," and still didn't get it all done.
But he adds that the workload is manageable if you're organized.
While still in high school, Marcovitch decided that he would study business
in college. He noticed that he was receiving the highest grades in his business
courses. "Then I had an influential business teacher who made the material
so interesting! It seemed like an obvious choice."
Rob Harbaugh majored in international business and marketing at Ohio University.
He chose the program because companies are becoming more multinational.
"I wanted to understand the ethics and cultures of other countries," he
says. He adds that having another language really helps, so he took Japanese.
What's it like being a commerce student? Marcovitch's courses included
finance, management science, statistics, information systems and macroeconomics.
Between classes, he met his friends in the lounge to study, talk or have coffee.
Harbaugh's favorite business course was personal selling techniques, which
incorporated a lot of real-life experiences.
He also did an internship in Hong Kong, which included three weeks
of coursework and several weeks working for a large company.
How to Prepare
Harbaugh suggests high school students take as many business and computer
courses as possible. Also, take advantage of any peer mentor programs
that may be offered through your school with local business leaders.
He also suggests finding out if it's harder to transfer into the business
school after starting at the college or university. "It's much harder here
to transfer in from another program than if you enrolled in the business school
from the very beginning," he says.